Gone are the days when heart operations were defined by large incisions done on the chest wall. In recent years, several technological advancements have made an advent and revolutionized cardiac surgeries.
Minimally invasive heart surgeries are the call of the hour as they allow smaller incisions to be made. Cardiac surgeons are thus opting for operations which are robotically assisted. This is because Robotically-enabled operations are performed by making tiny holes on the chest wall. Such an advanced procedure also utilizes accurate motion control which offers patients with improved results.
Robotic Surgery – a brief overview
A technologically advanced procedure like Robotic heart surgery comprises of a robot which functions as the surgeon’s extension. It allows the surgeon to make minute ports and incisions with its ‘robotic arms’ which have a camera attached to their ends. This camera sends clear and precise images to the console or monitor which helps in guiding surgeons.
Motion sensors attached to the robotic hand aid them in controlling the surgical instrument’s movements. Optical outputs are present in the robot which aid in generating a precise, three-dimensional image of the heart’s surgical site. These optical outputs ensure accurate camera control and focus. It also allows surgeons in zooming in on the surgical view. This aspect enables them to work through smaller spaces during the surgery with precision. Such an advanced surgical process is used for the following –
- Tricuspid valve repair and replacement
- Mitral valve repair and replacement
- Atrial septal defect repair
- Removing cardiac tumors
- Ablation of atrial fibrillation
- Lead placement
- Combined surgery of mitral and tricuspid valve
Essential tests required for the surgery
For determining whether you are the right candidate for the robotic-assisted heart surgery, certain vital tests need to be performed. These include –
- Chest X-Ray
- Cardiac Catheterization
- Computer Tomography
These diagnostic tests aid in providing appropriate information regarding your medical condition and overall health. Surgeons will also take into consideration other crucial factors like the patient’s age, type and severity of their heart’s condition, lifestyle, and medical history.
Benefits of this precise procedure
Robotically-assisted heart surgery is a comparatively better option than traditional surgery due to the following reasons –
- Smaller incisions and cuts are made which results in minimal scarring
- This surgery requires shorter stay at the hospital
- Less pain and less trauma experience for patients
- Decreased probability of infection risks
- Less bleeding and decreased consumption of pain medicines
- Early recovery and return to daily activities with less restrictions
Making changes to one’s lifestyle
Surgeons and medical caregivers will provide you with specific guidelines after the robotic heart surgery. These will include instructions regarding your daily activities, caring for the incisions and your general health. For maintaining your cardiovascular health after the operation, making certain vital lifestyle changes and taking proper medication is essential. Some of the strongly recommended tips from specialists are –
- Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight
- Quitting tobacco and alcohol consumption
- Consuming a heart-healthy diet
- Taking part in a patient-centric cardiac rehabilitation program
- Managing conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure
These tips and points are important to keep in mind when a patient wants to opt for Robotically-assisted heart surgery. It is minimally invasive and ensures speedy recovery for the patient. These positive reasons make this surgical procedure the most sought after option for cardiac patients.